The Best Chocolate Cheesecake
An easy chocolate cheesecake recipe that is rich, creamy and deeply chocolatey. It is sure to drop jaws to the floor.
I’ve been working toward a go-to chocolate cheesecake recipe that would satisfy the deepest of chocolate cravings. Here we have it.
In this ultimate chocolate cheesecake, a crumbly, chocolate wafer crust belies an incredibly rich filling with a pillow of softly whipped vanilla cream for lightness. Swirl in some (optional) fudgy ganache for an experience you won’t soon forget.
A few secrets to the most chocolatey chocolate cheesecake ever.
To amp up the deep chocolate flavour, the key is to employ both melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder. Cocoa powder adds a depth that can’t be achieved by chocolate alone.
A good pinch of salt and a splash of real vanilla both enhance the chocolate flavour in important ways.
Do I have to splurge on expensive chocolate?
Usually for baking, I do reach for premium dark chocolate. The creaminess, perfect melting, and not-to-sweet, fruity cocoa flavour can’t be matched in a bag of chocolate chips.
Purchased in bulk at a warehouse store it is cheaper, but I still have to turn a blind eye to the price tag and bury the box under apples and bread so that I don’t notice when it goes through the scanner. (Life skillz.)
However, because I was testing this recipe a few times, I opted for much-less-expensive bulk-bin dark chocolate so that I wouldn’t choke on the cost.
I tasted the batter before the cocoa was added and it tasted ok. It was a bit one-dimensional, a bit too sweet. It was fine, but not incredible. Then I added the cocoa powder and BOOM. Magic happened. The cocoa powder picked up where the chocolate left off and added a layer of deep, dark richness that totally took the cake to a new level.
I served it to some of my foodie-est friends and they totally loved it. I honestly couldn’t tell that it wasn’t made with $30 of fancy chocolate. Chocolate chips, you win this round.
(Don’t buy the cheapest chocolate chips that taste like wax and have weird ingredients though. Middle ground, ok?)
A few tips and tricks.
Start by making the crust. I like to save myself another dirty bowl and mix the ingredients right in the springform pan. When combined, I use a flat-bottomed measuring cup to press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides.
While crust bakes, I melt the chocolate before starting on the cheesecake filling. It should come to room temperature by the time you’re ready for it. I use a microwave on medium power for melting, but you could use a double boiler if you prefer.
When combining ingredients, a cheesecake differs from a normal cake. The goal with the beaters is simply to combine, and not to incorporate air. The more air you beat in (especially when adding the eggs), the more the cake will rise, and the more likely it’ll be to crack (if you care about that kind of thing).
For testing doneness in the cheesecake, a cooking thermometer is most foolproof option. The centre of the cake should be 150ºF. The cake will still have some jiggle in the middle (I mean all good things have that, am I right ladies?). By the time the cake cracks, it’s likely a bit overdone (or was over-beaten), but who cares, it’s still delicious, and whipped cream fixes all sins.
- 1 2/3 cups 9 oz crushed chocolate wafer cookies
- 1/4 cup 2 oz melted butter
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 8 oz chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 3 8- oz packages plain full-fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 oz dark chocolate
- 2 oz whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 325ºF. Combine chocolate wafer cookie crumbs with butter and sugar. Firmly press the mixture into bottom and 1" up sides of a 9" springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
- Microwave the chocolate on 50% power for 2 minutes in in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir, and microwave again on 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until chocolate is 80% melted. At that point, remove from microwave and stir to finish melting. Cool to lukewarm temperature (it should still be pourable).
- Combine cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in stand mixer bowl and beat until just combined. Scrape sides and bottom of stand mixer, then beat in cooled chocolate and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time on low speed until just blended. Scrape mixture into the crust.
- Bake cheesecake for about 55 minutes, until 150ºF or only the centre jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Run a knife around inside ring of pan, then allow cake to cool to room temperature before chilling it (still in the cake in pan) for 4-6 hours.
- To make topping, whip cream in stand mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar and vanilla.
- To make chocolate drizzle, microwave chocolate and cream together in microwave-safe bowl at 50% power for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, or until chocolate is 80% melted. Stir until smooth. Cool to room temperature before drizzling over whipped cream.